Fremont County Start-Up Challenge Winners Named

The First Annual Fremont County Start-Up Challenge finalist competition was held late last week at Central Wyoming College. 

The three winners, listed below, will now share the $50,000 made available for the competition. A meeting to decide how that money will be spent is to be scheduled lat this month. 

The winning presentations were:

• Eric Locker of Locker Cabinets presented his idea of CNC cutout cabinets that would compete with big box stores to capture the market for upgraded kitchen cabinets for the consumer or contractor. 

• Alicia Rux of Crowheart, who raises sheep and manages Cottonwood Wool, presented a use for an otherwise throw away product. Wool Pellets are a new and innovative way to augment soil in everything from houseplants to agriculture. According to Rux, this biodegradable product made from 100% wool, keeps soil nourished by holding moisture and nourishing the soil naturally.

• High Country Fungus and its owner-operator Daniel Stewart, promoted the use of natural fungus to replace styrofoam for shipping applications. His research and development of a specific type of fungus has proven effective and environmentally friendly as it degrades in short order in a garden, providing nourishment for the soil. According to Stewart, this is a global market and can be manufactured here in Fremont County, reducing the volume in landfills from styrofoam that takes years to degrade. 

The recipient of the People’s Choice Award, Dallin and his father Steve Cooper presented a new concept in dog chews called “Ugly Chews.” These unique dog chews provide hours of enjoyment for your dogs while being inexpensive to source and produce. Basically, says Dallin, “we can source the hides from local slaughterhouses and produce the product easily for shipping to anywhere in the world. With 2,600 cows butchered each year here in Fremont County, there should never be a shortage of hides…or dogs.”